Carpe Vino Makes OT’s “Top 100 Fit for Foodies” List

open tableIt has happened again:  Carpe Vino has been recognized with some of the most prestigious restaurants from around the country by being named to OpenTable’s 2013 Diner’s Choice “Top 100 Fit for Foodies Restaurants.”  Twenty California restaurants made the list, the most of any state, and Carpe Vino was the only Sacramento-region joints to be acknowledged.


“Our customers have been very generous in their reviews of Carpe Vino after they honor a reservation placed on OpenTable,” said Carpe Vino Co-owner Drew Moffat. “These unsolicited commentaries are a true testament to the professionalism of our entire staff, from Chef Alexander’s talented crew to everyone who works service in the dining room and wine bar.”

OpenTable is the default online reservations system for fine dining establishments around the country—every serious restaurant depends on it because of its reach among businesspeople, travelers and true foodies. There are 15,000 restaurants in the network nationwide, and OpenTable “lists” are based on more than 5 million customer reviews generated between September 1, 2012 and August 31, 2013.

Many of the restaurants on the list are highly rated elsewhere in the industry.  Saison in San Francisco, for instance, was just named the #2 restaurant in the nation by Bon Appétit magazine.  Many others have been awarded Michelin stars; others are operated by James Beard award-winning chefs.

“These restaurants put the wow factor in everything they serve,” says Caroline Potter, OpenTable Chief Dining Officer. “Through pure imagination and ingenuity, they’re taking culinary creativity to another level with delicious dishes that are as fun to eat as they are to share on social media.”

Amazingly, this is the fifth time Carpe Vino has made an OpenTable “Top 100 Diner’s Choice” list.  In 2011 and 2012, we were named to both the Diner’s Choice “Top 100 Restaurant Wine Lists” and “Top 100 Restaurants” list.  Also, in 2012 and 2013, we earned the coveted Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for our restaurant wine list, one of only 3,800 establishments recognized worldwide.

“It’s truly mind-boggling,” Drew said.  “We just quietly do our thing in Auburn as a closely knit team. . .and it’s a combination of a great chef, excellent service, fabulous wine and a gem of a building that makes it all such a memorable experience for diners.”

For information about all of the winners, click here:

Here’s an Awesome Paso Cab for Just $11.99 on Six

These days at Carpe Vino, I am very content to do what I am told (mostly), so when Drew shoved a bottle of the 2010 Paso CabAncient Peaks Cabernet Sauvignon at me and said “See if this would make a good Gary’s Deal,” I said “Sure.”

Without even tasting it, I sensed it was a slam-dunk because we have a great track record with this Paso Robles-based winery.  When Drew said we could offer it at $11.99 on six bottles, $5 off the winery price of $17 (a 29% savings), it seemed to be a no-brainer.  The last wine we sold from Ancient Peaks was their Zinfandel, and the stuff simply flew outta here.

I had a bit of flashback when I uncorked the bottle.  Last February I went on a nearly two-week So-Cal swing pulling my 15-foot, 1958 DeVille trailer, and I spent much of the time in Paso.  Heading up the 101, I made it a point to stop in Santa Margarita to visit the Ancient Peaks tasting room.

The town is really sleepy and the modest commercial activity is centered exclusively on El Camino Real.  It was late when I pulled in, and I was starving.  Fortunately, a diner was open and I remember ordering a Monte Cristo sandwich.  I was the only person in the joint, and the fries were cold. . .an unremarkable experience.

Just down the street, the Ancient Peaks tasting room was something else entirely.  Small space but nicely done.  The staff was very knowledgeable, as was the other person tasting. . .an Ancient Peaks wine club member who was as ardent an evangelist as any of our 900 clubbers in Auburn.  I didn’t visit the estate, but it’s out there somewhere in the wilderness beyond Santa Margarita.

I shared the bottle with my beloved Ellen at her house, paired with two of the best filet mignon we have ever had—sourced from our very own Longhorn butcher shop on the north side of Auburn.  I nailed the steaks at a tick past MR; anything beyond that would have been a disaster.

The Ancient Peaks Cab was a righteous sidekick to this world-class steak.  Okay. . .it’s no substitute for a Mount Veeder Cab or a killer bottle from Howell Mountain, but listen to G$, it packs a helluva punch for under 12 bucks.  We’ve got ONLY 20 cases, kids, so first-come, first-served.

Winery Tasting Notes:  The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon offers warm aromas of dusty black cherry and plum with hints of cocoa and anise. Dense, layered flavors of black currant and blackberry are accented by notes of vanilla, tobacco and spice. Plush tannins glide into a lengthy, luscious finish.

Blend:  Cabernet Sauvignon (91%), Cabernet Franc (4%), Malbec (3%), Petit Verdot (2%)
Cases Produced:  9,025
Alcohol:  13.9%
Winemaker:  Mike Sinor

Thanks to our flood last Monday, the cash registers have been silent at the Friendly Confines.  Now that the water has stopped flowing, slosh over to the “Buy Now” button and do your part to jump start cash flow.  Stop in for a slurp and I know you’ll take six home.




More information
Carpe Vino (Find Us) 1568 Lincoln Way Auburn, CA 95603
Phone Number: 530-823-0320
Get Directions to Carpe Vino
Retail/Wine Bar Hours Tuesday - Saturday
Noon - 10:00 p.m.
Closed: Sunday and Monday
Dining Hours Tuesday - Saturday
5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Closed: Sunday and Monday
Make A Reservation Guests must be 21 years of age or older.
Reservations are suggested for preferred seating, especially on weekends.